Virginia, US

May 17 2019

USCIS Completes FY 2020 H-1B Cap Data Entry

United States

At a glance

  • USCIS has finished initial data entry of all FY 2020 H-1B cap cases selected in the lottery.
  • Receipting of H-1B cap cases is expected to continue for at least several more days.
  • USCIS will soon begin to return unselected cases and fee checks to petitioners, but has not identified a time frame for returns.

A closer look

USCIS has completed initial data entry of all FY 2020 H-1B cap cases selected in the lotteries, according to an agency announcement issued today. Employers started receiving filing receipts for selected cases in mid-April; receipting could continue for several more days now that data entry is finished.

USCIS will soon begin to return unselected cases and fee checks to employers, but has not identified a time frame for returns.

What’s next for receipted H-1B cap cases

USCIS will now adjudicate the 85,000 cases selected in the FY 2020 cap lottery. As announced in March, adjudicators should begin working on cases filed under premium processing by May 20.  USCIS should complete initial adjudication of premium cases by June 4.  By this date, employers should receive an approval, request for evidence (RFE) or denial. 

USCIS is expected to begin working on regular processed cases by early to mid-June and continue for the next several months. In past years, USCIS has aimed to finish initial adjudication by late August, though the FY 2019 adjudication period extended well into calendar 2019; premium processing was suspended for most of that time. In the course of adjudicating H-1B cap petitions, USCIS may transfer some cases between its California and Vermont Service Centers to balance workload. If a case is transferred, USCIS will issue a notice to the petitioner and immigration counsel.

If an adjudicator requires additional facts or documentation in a cap case, the adjudicator will issue a request for evidence (RFE). If your organization receives an RFE, your Fragomen team may ask you and the petition beneficiary to provide additional information to aid in the preparation of a response. Working promptly with your Fragomen team will help minimize processing delays. The sooner your response is submitted, the greater the likelihood that your case can be decided in time for an October 1 H-1B employment start date.

Fragomen will continue to provide regular updates as FY 2020 H-1B cap processing continues. If you have any questions, please contact the immigration professional with whom you work at Fragomen. This alert is for informational purposes only.